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How to Stage a Drug or Alcohol Addiction Intervention for Your Teen

Since drug addiction remains a growing issue within the United States, addiction intervention has become more popular since drug use can cause serious emotional and physical damage. With early intervention, your teen can be prevented from permanent damage as a result of a chronic addiction.

Step 1: Recognize the Signs and Symptoms

Sometimes being able to recognize addictions in a teen may be challenging since the signs are not always seen by the people closest to him. Common symptoms and warning signs can include having mood swings, poor hygiene, appearing to be withdrawn, being short tempered and irrational, violent behavior. Problems like tardiness, falling grades or a suspension are also signs. Minor house rule infractions like ignoring curfew and issues with legal rules, like getting a DUI, can also be an indicator that there is an addiction issue. Finally, if drug paraphernalia is found, it is almost a sure sign that there is a drug or alcohol addition present.

Step 2: Verify the Problem

The first step toward planning an intervention is investigating the situation. Without being critical, talk to your teen about how he is doing. Arrange to go out and have lunch at a neutral place. Keep the discussion open and encourage your teen to let you know about anything that may be bothering him. Do this casually so as not to create suspicion or a break in communication. The object is to have the best communication with your teen that you can.

Step 3: Check with School, Friends and Counselors

Talk with your teen's school about his school record. Verify that recent grades presented are accurate. Ask teachers if they have noticed anything out of the ordinary occurring with your teen. Do not let on that you think there may be a problem, as you should not embarrass your teen. Just let people know that you are being a responsible parent and finding out how things are going. Take a good look at your teen's friends. If any of them seem different or secretive, make a note about it to check into.
Step 4: Keep a Record

Make notes about what you see going on with your teen. Keep your record in a safe, private space. Write down what you find out as time goes on. Watch your teen carefully and make a daily log about activities and things that don't appear to be quite normal.

Step 5: Discuss Your Concerns

Discuss concerns about your teen to your partner. Use your notes and intuition to guide you with this conversation. Arrange to see your teen's school counselor. Discuss your findings and ask what she suggests. Sometimes, school counselors can offer referrals. Indicate that you feel it is time for an intervention. Review any information that you get from the school counselor with your partner.

Step 6: Plan and Conduct the Intervention

Contact a local drug rehab to speak with a trained professional. Check with several facilities and compare notes about offerings, costs and success rates. You must have a facility at the ready once the intervention takes place. If you delay this, the intervention may not be successful and it can trigger a pre-drug rehab binge for your teen. Follow the directions given by your chosen facility to conduct the intervention.

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